Worried by the worsening devastating effect of oil bunkering activities on aquatic lives and the environment, nine Communities of Kula Kingdom in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State have vowed to put an end to illegal oil bunkering and other vices that constitute economic sabotage in the area.
Kula Kingdom, a coastal community surrounded by the St. Bathelomew and Santababra Rivers is rich in oil minerals and untapped tourism potentials.
The Robert Kiri Flow Station – OML 55, Idama Flow Station – OML 55, and the Belema Flow Station – OML 25 are all located in the area.
Recall that three persons died in a boat accident while embarking on illegal bunkering activities in OLM 25 in Kula, Akuku Toru LGA, Rivers State. They include – Sopakiriba Igbikis, Alex George and Richard Micah.
The commitment to end illegal oil bunkering, chemical fishing and other economic sabotage came on the heels of a zero oil bunkering and crude oil theft sensitization campaign embarked upon in the area by the President of National Youth Council of Nigeria, NYCN, Ambassador Sukubo Sara-Igbe Sukubo.
Some of the communities visited include Kula, Belema, Oluama, Agudama, Robert-Kiri also known as Bush Bar, Kalamasiri, Offogboko, and Uwangaye communities.
Kula Youth President, Emine Ariyitamunoprim and other Community leaders of the area who spoke declared their resolve to end the illegal business.
He said oil bunkering activities have endangered the lives of members of the communities and brought them untold hardship as fishermen and women are no longer able to catch fish and other sea foods.
Some members of the communities called on the government to provide basic amenities, while identifying poverty and lack of basic infrastructure as the root causes of pipeline vandalism, crude oil theft and other vices in the area.
Ambassador Sukubo explained that the sensitization campaign became necessary due to the associated risks and the negative impact on the nation’s economy caused by oil bunkering activities and chemical fishing.
He pledged his resolve to partner relevant security agencies to forestall further economic sabotage.
Sukubo also assured the people of the area that he will channel their concerns of provision of basic infrastructure and human capital development to the federal government, saying he was confident of the renewed hope agenda of the President Bola Tinubu led administration.